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National Grid publishes 'myth-buster' to allay concern about impacts of EVs on power grid

Thu 10 August 2017 | Back to news list

Following widespread media interest in its recent Future Energy Scenarios report, National Grid has published a 'mythbuster' to allay fears - propagated by some sections of the media - that the increasing popularity of electric vehicles will cause significant strain on pre-existing power networks.
One scenario in the recent analysis from National Grid said that as much as 30 gigawatts (GW) of additional power could be needed at peak times by 2040; the equivalent of almost 10 Hinkley Point C nuclear power stations. 
This scenario was widely circulated in mainstream and social media which prompted National Grid to publish a new 'myth-buster' document, in which it explains that such a situation is an “outlier”, and that more likely scenarios predict much lower extra peak demand by 2040.
The 'myth-buster' says that an extra 30GW would only be needed in a world where there were no petrol or diesel cars on the road by 2040 as a result of falling electric vehicle costs and where there was little thought for given to how to manage the impact of EV charging on the power grid. The report says that, in reality, the introduction of 'smart charging', energy storage and other demand-side responses will dramatically change the outlook.
It points out that, currently, electricity production at night eclipses demand due to the necessity to have baseload power stations on the grid that output at a constant rate. With electric cars most likely to be charged at night, the network would be able to handle extra capacity during these times.
Note: The LowCVP's EV Network Group is working to drive forward solutions that will allow electric vehicles to work in harmony with the UK electricity distribution network. It will act as a focal point to address both technical and infrastructural needs, to share research and to recommend measures to increase the number of electric miles driven on UK roads by 2030.

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